Vasily Zinoviev is the last man on earth you would want to say no to. Just ask the working girl who suffered a horrible death while skinny-dipping one night. Or the president of the prestigious Poinciana Club who's sorry he ever laid eyes on the ruthless Russian. Living in a $20 million oceanfront mansion with a harem of mistresses, Vasily and his brother are more than a handful for Palm Beach homicide detective Charlie Crawford. But throw in a vengeful ex-wife, a vicious hit man, a mysterious tycoon even more diabolical than the Russians, and you have Palm Beach Poison.
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"Dead people are bad for tourism!"
One of the most entertaining mystery thrillers that I have listened to recently: not great literature, perhaps, but well conceived, written and brilliantly narrated. The action might not seem fast initially but there is so much packed into it with a great cast of superbly crafter characters featuring businessmen, billionaires, Russians and realtors as well as the main protagonists themselves. Plenty of murder and mayhem, with some rather unusual despatching methods, There is even a thrilling car chase and some nice red herrings at large. Quite enough for the ex NYPD homicide detective, Charlie Crawford, now based in sleepy Palm Beach, to sort out with he help of his partner, Mort Ott, without the flack he's getting from his police superiors. Charlie even tries to have a private life, too.
Phil Thron"'s narration is superb. So much of the book is dialogue and, with a large cast of disperate characters it was easy to forget this was a reading and not a full cast performance, so skillfully was each person voiced. The text in between was read with perfectly paced speed and emotion to fit the context, always calm but guaging the feeling exactly. This is a narrator to look out for again in the future.
This is a light, fun, gently humourous book which feels remarkably substantial and, despite the oddities, real. I loved it and can wholeheartedly recommend it to other listeners. My deep thanks to the rights holder who freely gifted me my copy of Palm Beach Poison, via Audiobook Boom, and so introduced me to Charlie Crawford and his police patch in Palm Beach. I enjoyed it so much that I have already purchased the first book in the series ( the stories are completely stand alone) which I have not yet read, and, the naughty publisher having included the first two chapters of book three at the end of this audiobook as a bonus, I am waiting impatiently for that one, too. Sign me up!
- Norma Miles